There was a lot of water up there, and the potential for new life was evident in the frog spawn which broke the surface of the pools in several places. There were also dead rabbits littering the grass and heather. Birth and death as ever in close proximity.
The day was mild with a very gentle wind and I didn't see another soul on the ancient road. Lapwings circled over Tranmire bogs and their calls were a constant backdrop, together with the distant rush of Wheeldale Beck as it skirted the woods.
The road itself has traditionally been attributed to the Romans. The sign indicating access to the monument has a picture of a helmeted Roman centurion. Recent work, however, has suggested that it could be medieval, or that it might not be a road at all, but a much modified Neolithic or early Bronze Age boundary feature.
Around a mile of the road is visible on Wheeldale Moor. Wade’s Causeway, as the site is also known, derives from a local legend that the ‘road’ linked the home of a giant called Wade who lived at Mulgrave Castle near Whitby with that of his wife, Bel, who lived at Pickering Castle.